In this Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, photo, Trader Jonathan Corpina, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Markets were steady Wednesday Jan. 30, 2013 ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's first policy statement of the year, which has the potential to indicate a shift in its monetary stance. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Updated: January 30, 2013 11:24AM
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were mixed in early trading, after the government revealed that economic growth shrank in the final quarter of 2012, the first time that’s happened in more than three years.
Dow Jones industrial average fell 1.69 points to 13,952.73 in the first half hour, after changing direction. The broader S&P 500 rose less than a point to 1,508.69, while the Nasdaq 9.2 points to 3,162.60.
Part of the reason for slowing growth was the biggest cutback in U.S. defense spending in four decades.
The Commerce Department says the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent.
It immediately raises questions about the strength of the economic recovery going forward, given the tax increases that went into effect this month.
Attention now turns to the Federal Reserve, which wraps up a two-day policy meeting Wednesday.